Amex won’t let me have late husband’s 1.3m reward points


My husband died in 2020. He had an American Express Platinum Card, and I have been the supplementary cardholder on the account since 1998.

We have accrued 1,282,245 reward points — the majority from purchases I’ve made. 

The monthly bill for the card was paid from our joint bank account, which is legally my money, and I am the sole executor of my husband’s estate.

Moot points: Amex is refusing to hand over a late customers’ reward points to his widow, despite her being the supplementary cardholder on the account since 1998 

I have also always had my own personal American Express account, which I have never used.

I want to keep hold of the points, but American Express says they cannot be transferred from my late husband’s account to mine. I’m worried I will lose everything I’ve earned. 

If I am equally responsible for the credit card bill, then surely I have equal ownership over the points which have been built up?

S.K., London.

This question throws up an interesting issue for those who collect rewards points with American Express, which are often used for conversion into Avios for flights.

You explained to me that you used the card exclusively because you wanted to accumulate as many membership rewards as possible. 

Once lockdown was over, you had hoped to use the points to book flights and begin to see the world again.

You put all your purchases on the platinum card for that reason. Additionally, you said you had a very different experience with American Express when your mother died in the U.S. You were also a supplementary cardholder on her account.

The company was kind, you said, expressed its condolences, closed your mother’s account and transferred her membership rewards to your supplementary card without problem.

But in Britain, you claim you were told there was a different system, and the points couldn’t be transferred.

Scam watch 

Watch out for fraudsters pretending to be from your energy supplier, the Government or Ofgem, the industry regulator.

The emails and text messages will often encourage you to click on a link to apply for the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

Once clicked, you will be taken to a website which harvests your personal and financial information.

The Government energy bill support is applied to your energy account automatically if you pay by direct debit, so you do not need to apply.

If you have not received your payment, then contact your supplier directly.

Membership points with American Express can be used for flights and upgrades, and even converted into a supermarket spend. They can be very valuable.

One expert said your points are potentially worth up to £12,800, depending on how they’re cashed in. 

Your complaint began when American Express customer services contacted you for a routine check to see if you needed to update your personal details.

This is when you told them of your husband’s death.

As is standard practice, you were told that the account would be closed — but you say when you asked for the points to be transferred, customer services told you it wouldn’t be possible as the points are not your property.

You feel that as you got a reward in return for every pound spent on that card, this qualifies as a transaction. You believe, therefore, that the points belong to you.

As well as holding a supplementary card for the account for 24 years, you say that your husband had also previously signed a document with the firm allowing you access to and use of the account’s membership points.

You also told me that you asked twice for the account not to be closed until this was resolved.

However, you say the account was closed — and you only found out about this when direct debits started bouncing, which you say was hugely inconvenient.

However, when I contacted American Express to query this, I was told the account had not been closed. It said it did not shut down your husband’s account — but a block was put on it once American Express was told of his death. 

American Express says this is standard procedure, and this explains why your direct debits were not going through.

I asked the company what it intended to do with all the points you’d accumulated, and it agreed to transfer them to your account.

All 1,282,245 reward points have now been credited to your personal account. An American Express spokesman says: ‘We extend our deepest sympathy. The points were transferred, following the receipt of necessary documentation.’

It says it has a team of specialists available to support cardholders with their financial situation in the case of a bereavement. In the event someone passes away, American Express asks for a completed Bereavement Notification Form.

The points balance, or its equivalent value in shopping vouchers, can be offered to the next of kin or executor of the estate. You’re looking forward to being able to jet off again.

Hire car was an accident waiting to happen

In July, I hired a Volvo SUV from Enterprise Rent A Car in South Gloucestershire to drive our family to Scotland. 

Upon collecting the vehicle, the tyre warning light was on yet we were assured there was no problem. But part way through our trip, one of the tyres went soft, so we took it to a repairer.

The firm found a large nail in the problem tyre and also said the front two were unroadworthy and would not pass an MoT.

Enterprise agreed to pay for the repair of the puncture and replace the front tyres. 

But we considered the firm negligent as it had jeopardised the safety of my two children. It agreed to refund 50 per cent of our hire charge — but to date, we have received no payment.

H. G., South Gloucestershire.

Undertaking such a long journey with two young kids can be stressful enough. So I can imagine how worried you must have been to be told the vehicle was potentially unsafe.

I took your case to Enterprise, which claims you first raised concerns about the tyres two weeks into your trip. 

At that point, Enterprise advised you to visit one of its authorised tyre repairers.

Enterprise says its checks are more stringent than those required by law, which is why it insisted on replacing the two front tyres because they had reached their minimum tread depth. 

It agreed to refund half the hire charge due to the inconvenience of you having to take it for repair.

Yet you had still not received a refund, though you chased several times. 

Enterprise would not tell me why it’s been such a bumpy road to receive the refund, but it has since processed the payment.

Straight to the point 

Throughout March and early April, we were left with no landline and limited broadband. 

My husband died in this time and family members were calling but could not get through. Sky pledged to compensate us but we haven’t received any money.

P.H., via email.

Sky says the issue was caused by an external fault. It has apologised for this and offered you a gesture of goodwill.

*** 

I tried to book two tickets for a round of miniature golf at Birdies Battersea, in London, costing £26.40, using my credit card. 

I did not think the payment had cleared and I was not sent a confirmation email, so I used my debit card instead. 

When I arrived at the venue, I was told I had multiple bookings under my name. I want a refund for the first purchase.

A.C., London.

Birdies says it could see there had been an accidental payment and provided a full refund for the price of the duplicate tickets.

*** 

I bought three items as part of a Ring video doorbell bundle in an Argos Black Friday deal for £91.99. 

Two days later, I got an email saying my order had been cancelled as two items were out of stock. 

When I checked online, I saw that the items were in stock but the price had gone up to £119. 

I contacted Argos and was told it would not honour the original deal. Is this allowed?

G.R., Manchester.

An Argos spokesman says: ‘We’re in touch with the customer to apologise for his experience and we have honoured the deal.’

*** 

I have been waiting since May for my compensation from Jet2 for a delayed holiday and lost luggage. Having initially refused to pay, the firm agreed, but I’ve heard nothing.

P.S., Cheshire.

Jet2 has now contacted you to process your compensation. A spokesman for the company apologises for the inconvenience.

  • Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email sally@dailymail.co.uk — include phone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given. 

THIS IS MONEY’S FIVE OF THE BEST CREDIT CARDS

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